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  #101  
Old 06-19-2011, 04:11 PM
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Don't you guys think that with Prince Andrew allowing Sarah to live in the Royal Lodge it's enabling her non-adult behavior? I'm not saying to blame Andrew but he needs to cut her loose so she can be an adult! She isn't a helpless newborn, she is a 51 year old woman and it's for her to act like one! I know of a few friends who have been supporting themselves since they were 18 and attending college.
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  #102  
Old 06-19-2011, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by 4Pam View Post
Don't you guys think that with Prince Andrew allowing Sarah to live in the Royal Lodge it's enabling her non-adult behavior? I'm not saying to blame Andrew but he needs to cut her loose so she can be an adult! She isn't a helpless newborn, she is a 51 year old woman and it's for her to act like one! I know of a few friends who have been supporting themselves since they were 18 and attending college.
Seems like the most obvious thing. Paying off some of her debts and arranging the rest is just an extension of his refusal to let her fall. It's not so much that you've have to let the person suffer but Andrew could be more firm. He seems as childish as her in many ways, so it shouldn't surprise. It's the rich kid and his best friend,
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  #103  
Old 06-19-2011, 05:45 PM
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I seriously have to believe that Sarah believes that even though she and Andrew have been divorced for years, they're just as much "together" now as before they divorced. She would never expect Andrew to be less that totally there for her and should he pull away so that she would face her life on her own, she would be totally devastated. What proved this to me was the statement that she made on Jimmy Kimmel that they are "divorced TO each other and not from each other" and stating things like "they have a modern day fairy tale". She makes it sound so much like its all peaches and cream in her relationships with her ex and daughters but I think only sees how it benefits her and makes her feel and not what effects this co-dependent relationship is having on the other people involved. She speaks so much of unconditional love but only sees it directed at herself and not doing anything to direct it towards those she loves by being her own strong, self sustaining woman. With facing their own relationships and focusing on what careers they want to embark on, the last thing that Beatrice and Eugenie really need is their mother clinging to them to support her own self worth as a "good mom". Andrew can't go forward in his own life because he's constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop and Sarah seems to be a centipede wearing a lot of shoes.

Someone really needs to hit home to this woman the simple fact that she will not and cannot make anyone else happy until she is happy herself. I know we've only seen Part 1 of Finding Sarah so far and who knows whats ahead but if seeing her interviews and such since the filming of this docu-drama is any indication, I'd bet a week's worth of doughnuts that Sarah has already filed anything she may have learned from Finding Sarah in the Ancient Fergie Files already.


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  #104  
Old 06-19-2011, 06:11 PM
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I have not been logging on for the past few days because of Royal Ascot, and so have only just caught up with the latest debate on this thread.

I have not been able to watch Finding Sarah in full, as the link to the programme is not available in the UK. Therefore, what I say can only be based on what I have read. Despite this handicap, certain points do repeatedly occur to me:

First, my overiding feeling is that the interests of Oprah and Sarah are NOT one and the same: from what fellow forum members have said above, it seems that Oprah needs to produce a series with a WOW! factor; this would seem to create a potential conflict of interest for Sarah, who, in my humble opinion, would be best served by revealing as little of her personal life as possible - both to preserve her own dignity and that of the Royal Family.

This is pure speculation on my part, but I am deeply troubled that the reports that the programme had to be re-recorded in order to make it 'more interesting' (in other words, 'more watchable in order to generate more viewers and hence more revenue for the OWN') have led Sarah to 'embroider' parts of her family history. At the end of the day, I suppose none of us knows what truly goes on in another's family or marriage come to that, but to me, in my very humble opinion, the fact that Sarah is only now coming out with these revelations about the (alleged) abuse she suffered, leads me to feel that perhaps the backstory is really that Oprah needs something sensational - I mean, how many times can Sarah really re-hash her time with the BRF - she split from Andrew in 1992 - that's getting on for 20 years ago, and revisiting her childhood gives enormous scope for new stories, particularly as her parents are now no longer around to comment on these allegations.

There's another tragedy that people do not seem to have commented on, and it is surely this: some of Sarah's high-earning career has involved presenting herself as a a savvy businesswoman, an excellent motivational speaker etc. From what forum members have quoted above, it seems that Sarah - with her claim that she does not understand money and never has etc - is actually making herself unemployable: I would speculate that there must be very few individuals or companies who would feel happy going to see / hiring a motiviational speaker who seems now, on her own admission, to know absolutely nothing about the commercial world.

My own take on the situation is this: up until Sarah's latest confessions about abuse etc., I had seen nothing that led me to believe that she had had anything than a normal upper-class childhood. In fact, her childhood sounds very similar to a lot of English upbringings: I have even compared her childhood with mine: boarding school at a relatively young age [ I was sent to school a bit later than Sarah], I had a pony who was taken away from me..... My mother often called me a devil even.... All of which could have been told to an interviewer in a way to suggest my childhood had been bad, but in fact it was idyllic: For starters, in reality the true reason my pony 'was taken away' was that he was passed to my younger brother because I had outgrown him and it was not realistic to aquire another because I went away to school], the 'devil' was a joke - I was frequently called a 'Little Devil' but it was all done as a huge bit of fun, when I used to be naughty or greedy etc etc. I was even smacked on occasion [and richly deserved it, too......! It was classic 'Dr Spock' thinking then, not 'abuse'....] Like Sarah, I also had a nanny, so although my parents did not divorce, there was always someone around for me (nanny) if my mother was not around...... Imagine how I could have made this sound to Oprah, though........

Whilst I think that many of us would agree [notwithstanding any faults she might have had) Diana's marriage to Charles seemed to be somewhat doomed because of the effect of Camilla Parker Bowles, to me, the huge difference between the two sisters in laws' marriages was that Andrew really did seem to love Sarah... I do however think that whatever she may say, Sarah actually fell in love with Andrew's 'postition' as much as Andrew the person: I also think, although of course I admit this is speculation, that Sarah, having observed the lifestyles of the super-rich because of her closeness to the Polo world, and the motor racing world, believed that marriage to the BRF was the start of a hugely monied lifestyle. The BRF of course are not poor; the Queen is an extremely wealthy woman, but if you look at other members of the BRF such as the Duke of Kent, Duke of Gloucester, Princess Alexandra - even Princess Anne come to that - although they are without question very rich by most of our own standards, their lifestyles are relatively modest: they certainly live in Palaces and they have access to beautiful jewels etc, but apart from Royal Engagements, they do NOT live the lives of the super-wealthy: there are NO private jets for personal holidays, there are NO homes on Mustique etc [although they might borrow a friend's house on occasions.....] These Royals do not 'spend, spend, spend'.... Sarah might now be giving the impression about how she always loved Andrew etc [as this all makes appealing tv presumably] but 20 years ago she seemed quite happy to be unfaithful to him when a better proposition [Steve Wyatt] apparently came up..... And now, with Wyatt long gone and no other super-rich on the horizon for Sarah apparently, she now seems to be looking back longingly to something she once had but at the time willingly rejected....it'a a strange old world..........

Sarah's first 'undoing' was, I think, her way of spending well above her means [which in those days was Andrew's Civil List allowance] and her desire to start 'trading' on the BRF 'brand' to raise money: the 'Daily Express' paid interview, the sale of the photo-story to Hello following the birth of Princess Beatrice....

Steve Wyatt entered her life at a vulnerable time: Andrew was often away on Naval duties, which is unfortunately the downside of marrying anyone in the military: apart from any emotional vulnerability on the part of Sarah, Wyatt really did have access to enormous wealth and therefore the 'superwealthy lifestyle' that Sarah craved so much: American forum members will probably be best placed to help here, but I understand that Lyn Wyatt is an enormously wealthy Texan socialite..... [indeed, I also understand that the reason that the relationship with Steve Wyatt cooled was because Lyn 'read her son the riot act', it having apparently been pointed out to her that her own social position would be vulnerable if the relationship continued, because she would find herself effectively outcast from any events involving the BRF and effectively 'cast adrift' by many of her British friends from noble families.....]

I am also very concerned that Sarah has been using Beatrice and Eugenie in these programmes and I don't think that the Queen will approve one little bit - apart from the content that these young ladies are providing, I think that the Queen would find the principle of B and E appearing in a commercial programme entirely wrong: come to that, I don't think that the Queen would be amused by the alleged visit by Oprah has made to Royal Lodge.

And then there is the $ received: there seems to be some controvery as to whether Sarah as received $200,000 or $300,000 dollars, but -dare I say this - either way, although this would be a hugely life-changing amount for many of us here, either the lower figure or even the higher figure is NOT likely to last Sarah for a very long time on her current spending figures... [The Sunday Times, at the time of the cash-for-access scandal estimated that Sarah had at that time spent her way through 22m over the past twenty years or so, a large proportion of which she had earned, but a proporportion of which she 'borrowed', i.e. and never repaid.

As to a solution: oddly enough, if Sarah was made bankrupt, she would find herself in a better position with regard to controlling her spending as she would become answerable to a Trustee in bankruptcy....

I would speculate that the Queen must be re-considering the wisdom of Andrew allowing Sarah to live at Royal Lodge and I would also think that the Queen would be wondering about the desirability of having Beatrice and Eugenie becoming involved with the programme....
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  #105  
Old 06-19-2011, 06:22 PM
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My guess therefore is that the Queen will insist that something is done; next year is the Diamond Jubilee and I suspect that the BRF won't be happy if further antics from Sarah errupt [she will be running short of money by then, presumably, especially if she is already telling people that she is still teetering on the verge of bankruptcy...]

At the end of the day, perhaps a solution is for the Queen (yet again) to put her hands in her pocket and come up with a monthly allowance payable to a financial manager for Sarah [perhaps by lodging capital in some form of Trust] and finding some form of 'grace of favour' house for Sarah in Windsor [as the Queen has now done from the once-disgraced Marina Ogilvy] in return (say) for Sarah agreeing to drop the 'duchess' title [slightly OT but did you see the extract in which Sarah gives someone a business card with 'The Duchess of York' on it, despite not having had the power to use this title for nearly 20 years] and refraining from any business activity or meeting [fake sheikhs included] without vetting by BP or Sarah's new Trustee...]

All this might sound hard on poor Sarah, but at the end of the day I think that it is most in her interests if she was controlled......

As usual I will end by saying that I don't mean to offend anyone, least of all Sarah's supporters, as the foregoing is only my opinion

Alex


PS - read the comments on the OWN site [which I can read, even if I can't see the video], from which it seems that the respondents all feel very supportive of the apparently abused Sarah......strange; is this view representative? I had thought from what I read here that many were fed up with Sarah's current outpourings............
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  #106  
Old 06-19-2011, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Diarist View Post
PS - read the comments on the OWN site [which I can read, even if I can't see the video], from which it seems that the respondents all feel very supportive of the apparently abused Sarah......strange; is this view representative? I had thought from what I read here that many were fed up with Sarah's current outpourings............
Most are Americans who, unlike us on the board, don't know the whole story. So the hear her part and go, "Poor Dear" instead of "Idiot" because they haven't accessed all of Sarah's ridiculous actions.
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  #107  
Old 06-19-2011, 08:27 PM
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I think Sarah is so lost in her little pity party because it's easier. It brings attention and enables her to cling to her fantasies. She knows that once she crawls out of the party and takes control of her life, Andrew will move on. In other words, she will be an adult, responsible for her own actions and the fantasy will officially be over.

Until such time, she gets to live in her ex-husband's house, play family with her kids and pretend that she is still part of the royal family and entitled to all its perks. I think Sarah knows what she needs to do, she just doesn't want to do it. The pity party is easier.

She needs a push into the deep end. The question is...who is willing to do it?

Holy cow, you're dead on.

I never thought of it that way.

No wonder Sarah was looking daggers at Suze Orman and Dr. Phil. "They" were going to "force" her to be responsible for herself, and that's the last thing she wants.

Sarah had the 1,000 yard bead drawn on Suze when Ms. Orman suggested that being independent was a goal to be desired and worked toward.

I think...I think that Sarah has been viewing this interregnum since her divorce in the way a young woman in search of her post graduate 'MRS" degree goes about. Marking time until the payoff marriage relieves her of the need to be so darned self-supporting and independent.
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  #108  
Old 06-19-2011, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Diarist View Post
PS - read the comments on the OWN site [which I can read, even if I can't see the video], from which it seems that the respondents all feel very supportive of the apparently abused Sarah......strange; is this view representative? I had thought from what I read here that many were fed up with Sarah's current outpourings............
The OWN board is heavily edited. The network owns the board (no pun intended) and any criticism is deleted before posting. If you read through the comments, not a single one is anything other than laudatory of Sarah. I'm "American" and I can tell you that the odds of each and every American agreeing on any issues ("is vanilla ice cream tasty? No! Dammit, Yes!") is literally impossible.

So what you are seeing on those message boards is a continuation of Oprah's commercial for the Finding Sarah show and book. Ever seen a critical blurb on a bookcover ("Reading this book is worse than coughing up hairballs!") on a hardcover book on a display in a booksellers? Nah.
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  #109  
Old 06-19-2011, 08:43 PM
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Also, I must say that the "abuse angle" seems to have been played to the hilt here in this country generally all around. What once would have been considered nothing more than normal parental discipline is now put out there as "abuse". Unfortunately it is the sign of the times and there seems no longer to be much emphasis on taking responsibility for one's actions OR suffering the consequences of one's actions. There are always going to be people who are going to take the soft hearted approach BUT I would also be curious to know the ages of those respondents. If they are below a certain age they would be much more prone to swallow the abuse story and not weigh the other issues.

I cannot stand Oprah, it seems her latest endeavor is trying to get OJ Simpson to commit to a show, I'm wondering now if all of his "problems" also stem from "abuse".
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  #110  
Old 06-19-2011, 08:43 PM
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Also, people who are not interested in the royal family are not likely to watch an hour-long show about someone they dislike. People who didn't watch aren't likely to take the time to write comments. Most people who post here are an exception.
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  #111  
Old 06-19-2011, 09:43 PM
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You know, I wonder if Sara actually has a shopping/spending addiction and if that is the case then the answer is not as simple as just stop. She probably does need the therapy and help. And I personally hope that she is continuing to get it even after the show is done.
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  #112  
Old 06-19-2011, 09:57 PM
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I will post more later, but in summary this episode was just a build-up to Dr. Phil revealing to Sarah that she is an addict to people-pleasing. I hardly understand how this is a revelation to Sarah, although she claims this is a big breakthrough and she has never realized it before. I thought she had acknowledged this about herself in the past, but even if she hasn't... could she really have never realized it?

ETA: I'm free sooner than I thought! From episode 2:
Neither Beatrice nor Eugenie appeared in this episode. It started with Sarah returning to New York and talking about how difficult this step was for her. There is a lot of conversation with Susie although not much about finances. Susie advises Sarah that Sarah needs to only allow positive people into her life. (To me, it sounded like Susie was giving some ill-advised and fluffy advice, but I don't remember quotes so I won't misrepresent her by getting into specifics.) Susie said that because Sarah knows her ex-husband and her daughters would never actually let her be on the street, she might think she "has no choice" in her living/ financial situation but she truly does have a choice. Sorry, I would have to re-watch to explain this better.

Sarah still has a contract with the publisher who shelved her upcoming book after her scandal last May. It sounds like this lady has convinced a very reluctant Sarah to make the new book about the scandal.

Then Sarah went back to Dr. Phil. It was obvious that this section was very heavily edited, because Dr. Phil was making references to things Sarah hadn't mentioned (and aren't public knowledge) and making some conclusions that seem to have been drawn from something more than what we were shown. This was actually a more intense back-and-forth between the two, with Dr. Phil insisting Sarah knew things about herself that she wouldn't admit (even to herself) and Sarah repeatedly contending that she is the most honest, open person she can be and is in denial about nothing.

For a while it seemed like Dr. Phil was finally going to demand an answer to the big question: If you weren't selling access to Andrew, what actually happened? I was disappointed when he didn't get a real answer. She said the man was investing in her company and she was giving access to "some people." She says Andrew and their daughters have forgiven her, but that she doesn't know if this is because they think she wasn't wrong or because they accept her apology.
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  #113  
Old 06-19-2011, 10:02 PM
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The only problem with the Queen stepping in is that how much would be enough? Sarah wants to live a lavish lifestyle the Queen herself doesn't do this. I don't think whatever she offered would be enough and it doesn't teach Sarah anything. I also believe Sarah is addicted to her own self promotion and i don't see her going quiet. She needs to stand on her own two feet if she stopped living in the past maybe she could sustain a good relationship with a man. Andrew won't be remarrying her anytime soon she isn't welcome in the family and won't be. I noticed the weight gain too but she has an excuse for that as well. Problem is that she has put herself out of the market for work because of her bad behaviour. I agree too she had it better then Diana, Andrew really seemed to love Sarah but she wanted a first class lifestyle more.
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  #114  
Old 06-19-2011, 10:05 PM
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I will post more later, but in summary this episode was just a build-up to Dr. Phil revealing to Sarah that she is an addict to people-pleasing. I hardly understand how this is a revelation to Sarah, although she claims this is a big breakthrough and she has never realized it before. I thought she had acknowledged this about herself in the past, but even if she hasn't... could she really have never realized it?
Sarah has definitely said many times (and even in her autobiography) that she's a people-pleaser. It's probably the only "insight" she wanted to hear from Dr. Phil, because she already believed it.
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  #115  
Old 06-19-2011, 10:19 PM
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You know, I wonder if Sara actually has a shopping/spending addiction and if that is the case then the answer is not as simple as just stop. She probably does need the therapy and help. And I personally hope that she is continuing to get it even after the show is done.
Sarah seems to be addicted to a lot of things...people-pleasing, eating, spending money...(the list goes on)! I have the sense that Sarah uses all these things to distract herself from self-reflection. I think the one true insight in "Finding Sarah" is that Sarah really doesn't like herself very much. Until Sarah finds "self-worth", which she seemed to be genuinely seeking, I think she is going to continue with the "runaway train" behaviour of an addict. Meadow is right - no matter how much money the Queen might give Sarah, it would never be enough.

I feel sorry for Andrew, because I think he does still love Sarah in some way and wants to keep her close, but he's not helping Sarah out by giving her a place to live. She gets all the perks of royalty without the responsibilities of royal life...and she gets Andrew's support without having to shoulder the responsibilities of marriage. Sarah will never live independently as long as he lets her stay with him.

What do people think...does anyone realistically see Sarah leaving Royal Lodge now? She's discovered that life outside the royal family is a lot harsher than she thought. I think Sarah would be perfectly content to hole up at Royal Lodge with Andrew as long as he lets her. Honestly, I don't think Sarah will take on any responsibilities until or unless Andrew gives her a deadline to move out...or until or unless he remarries her (and I am not a fan of that option at the moment).
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  #116  
Old 06-20-2011, 12:36 AM
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Alex, as is usual, you've provided very interesting insights. I stated elsewhere that Sarah had probably spent whatever she received for this series a long time ago. It's true $200,000-300,000 is an enormous amount to any of us, but it's literally pocket change to Sarah.
Sarah has just discredited herself as Alex has pointed out, after her divorce, she did pick herself up and became very successful and was touted for it and her business ventures. Now she's "in the gutter" and knows nothing about money or finances. What happened to the successful woman story? Yes, I know it is tough economic years, but it wasn't the economy that really brought her down, Sarah brought herself down by spending too much and not realizing or wanting to realize that she wasn't a hot commodity like she was in the late 90's -early 2000's. A wise and realistic person re-evaluates his/her life chooses a different road to get through.
I don't buy the idea of Sarah being 50 yrs. and what can she do? She has more opportunities and ins open to her through contacts than the average 50yr.
She has Andrew and his contacts, celebrities, perhaps aristocrats, to help her find new, creative ideas to get started again. As I've stated, Sarah has had everything handed to her on a china plate and has squandered it.
It really is pathetic and sad to see the confident woman she became after her divorce become a whiny, poor is me, I've been so abused, woman now.
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  #117  
Old 06-20-2011, 05:08 AM
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I don't see it happening, because I can't see her living in average accommodation in an average community. I don't think that the Queen would pressure Andrew to make her move out, and I don't see Andrew marrying again and/or asking her to move out.

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What do people think...does anyone realistically see Sarah leaving Royal Lodge now?
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  #118  
Old 06-20-2011, 06:11 AM
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I believe Sarah's main problem has already been solved: her staff. She used to surround herself with lots of people and that's enormously expensive. Especially if you are a frequent traveller and have to pay for all the costs for several people.

Since last year, Andrew's staff takes care of her business/monetarian interests and she lives at Royal Lodge, being cared for by Andrew's staff. Okay, that is not easy for her as she surely enjoyed or even needed the attention of her personal staff and the knowledge that she was the boss. Her experiences with the "Grey Men" come to mind, memories she surely tried to expurge by having her own employees. Now these are gone - no wonder Sarah feels bad to be reduced to the usage of "Royal" staff, who probably are aghast at her latest TV outpours.

It's too bad she cannot write la Barbara Cartland - but then you need to be interested in people and their lives to be able to write about fictional fates and Sarah seems to be only interested in herself. I found most people who are of the type of "People-pleasers" are in fact desinterested in other people and try to cover this up because they don't know how to seriously interact with others. That is quite nice for a time but at one point the interest in you wanes and in the end there never was a basis for real friendship. Of course as long as you have something the "people pleaser" is interested in, he or she will continue to please but not out of real interest in you but in your connections, position etc.
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:19 AM
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Thank you to all who have responded here to my questions about the programme.

There is one thing that I cannot understand though - how can Sarah ever be construed as a 'people-pleaser'? To me, she has inflicted unquantifiable hurt on people who have been very good to her, and on the family who have been so good to her: look, for example, at the way Sarah's conduct must have caused untold hurt to the Queen [yet with Sarah, somewhat confusingly, telling everyone how much she respects the Queen]. The foregoing could also well apply to Prince Andrew and even the two Princesses, what with Sarah leeching off her daughters' trust funds.... I also think it is also a form of child abuse for the parent to be relying on her daughters' [mental] support in the reported way disclosed in the OWN 'Finding Sarah' programme....

Forgive me, but the other thing that I find really curious is why Sarah cannot apparently control her behaviour ['addictions']. Before she had 'caught' Andrew, Sarah behaved as a model of decorum, respectfully observing protocols etc. as I have already pointed out on a different thread. After the marriage, I am afraid that Sarah soon started to 'show the cloven hoof', as she began to peddle interviews and photostories for etc. This was the point that the tabloids turned from praising Sarah to criticising her - but there is a very interesting point here even about Sarah's abilities to 'keep quiet'. The tabloid attacks which, [as I have said above were fuelled by Sarah's burgeoning greed] must have been very hurtful - examples which spring to mind are the unflattering 'Duchess of Pork' handle, the 'revelation' that the police charged with her safety used to call the security detail 'The Pork Walk', the unveiling of her life-size waxwork at Madame Tussaud's Waxworks, when spiteful reporters at the press preview whipped out a tape measure, slipped it over the waxwork Duchess and informed the world that Sarah's hip measurement was 42" or even 48" depending on which tabloid you believed. Then there was the horrible tabloid photo-story with a full page photo of Sarah headlined 'York the Pork' and accompanied by arrows and dotted lines detailing which parts of the royal anatomy were 'over-meaty'. The greatest indignity was then heaped on the unfortunate Sarah by the Tatler, the publication seen as the English Society 'house magazine' for Sarah's class, which, for its 'Compare and Contrast' feature one month selected a picture of Sarah in a cocktail frock and then, amazingly, managed to locate a picture of muppet Miss Piggy in an unfortunately near-identical frock, with identically styled hair [wig], with readers being challenged to 'compare and contrast',and then being led to the inescapable conclusion that the puppet looked better dressed and better groomed than the Duchess. And yet, during all these indignities, Sarah managed to keep silent...... so if she could then, in the face of almost inhuman provocation, why cannot she not 'get a grip' in public now?

As to what Sarah could now do to support herself - well, she has had a first class Secretarial training at the ultra-smart Queen's Secretarial College in Kensington and London, historically the preserve of Society 'gels' needing to acquire shorhand and typing skills with a bit of a 'finish' [Margaret Rhodes, niece of the Queen Mother, who has just published her autobiography - as mentioned on another thread - was also trained at this elite establishment.] If Sarah could be found a 'grace and favour' house by the Queen and given a small monthly allowance from a newly created trust administered by trustees in order to keep the capital at arms' length from Sarah, perhaps she could be found an 'admin' role at one of these 'Sloane' charities, to keep her 'out of mischief' whilst giving her a sense of purpose and distracting her from thinking too much about herself and a cash-intensive lifestyle. [Incidentally, I couldn't help noticing in one of the photo links above of Sarah leaving the chat-show studio, that her tote - being held by an aide - was one of those Louis Vuitton $2200 jobs....why does Sarah need to spend at that level when she could have got a perfectly serviceable good quality classic upmarket alternative from (say) the English fashion house of Jaeger for 100 or so in a sale? [Somewhat OT, but I can remember attending a lecture given by an expert from the Royal Dress collection (based on the lifestyles of Princess Alexandra, the Duchess of Kent etc) about how to acquire a 'servicable' royal wardrobe without spending 'a right royal fortune' - Sarah should have taken notice of this!!! - Actually, building such a wardrobe could make an interesting forum discussion for another thead, which I might start some time]

Finally, I still feel that Sarah won't desist until some form of legal sanction is taken against her - bankruptcy would curb her spending, and today it does not carry the sort of stigma that it did; there is an even worse alternative - whilst I do not know how the American criminal law system works, in the UK, if you continually run up debts you cannot pay, it also becomes a criminal offence.....now that would surely pull Sarah up short.

All the above is not meant to sound heartless - it is just to reflect my exasperation at what I see is a continuing train-crash. It would not be so bad if Sarah was just involving herself, but her actions seem to be drawing in blameless members of her family, and this I feel has just got to stop.

Only my thoughts and personal opinions, and like I always say, I don't mean to offend...it's just the continuing frustration that I feel.

Alex
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Kataryn View Post
..........Okay, that is not easy for her as she surely enjoyed or even needed the attention of her personal staff and the knowledge that she was the boss. Her experiences with the "Grey Men" come to mind, memories she surely tried to expurge by having her own employees. ........

I am so pleased you mentioned the 'Grey Men' Kataryn, because this is one of Sarah's alleged difficulties that I have never really understood.......

Please can I provide some background on 'grey men'?

I literally worked with 'Grey Men' after leaving university and starting my first Civil Service job. The environment was seemingly 'strict and stuffy' back in the 1980's and the senior civil servants - one of whom was my actual boss - came from the exact background - family, educational, regimental etc that the BP 'grey men' came from. Indeed, some of the 'grey men' literally had worked or went to work at BP.....

And my, oh, my, did I find them strict. The rules they laid down seemed pretty darn impossible. Everybody senior to you had to be referred to as 'sir', [or even 'Sir' as many had been honoured!!], Colonel etc. First names were never used. There was a very stict dress code for female employess: navy or black, suits and dresses, no low necks and no short sleeves. No bare legs!! Girls had to tie their hair back once it reached shoulder length. I always carried a spare pair of tights [pantyhose] but after a particular run [no pun intended!!] of bad luck, one day I laddered my spare pair as well - the hole was minute, but even so was spotted by the Secretary to my boss - [an ancient terrifying spinster called 'Miss Joyce'.] From the resulting fuss, you would have thought that I had turned up and was sitting at my desk naked!!! And so I went to work with two spare pairs of tights in my briefcase after that... No biros were allowed - and don't forget to bring your own bottle of ink to refill your fountain pen. Parker Permanent Black ink or (rather racey this!!): Blue-black ink only!!! Office life was conducted at a very 'quiet' level - if you had to leave your desk to seek assistance from another colleague, you had to return sharp-ish to your own desk, with no time to exchange even minimal pleasantries and even though we had our own offices [this was before open-plan] conversations had to be conducted barely above whisper-level. If you suddenly wanted a cup of coffee, hard luck; you had to wait until the 'trolley' appeared: around 11am in the morning and then 3.30pm in the afternoon. Mugs and paper cups were never seen - it was a china cup-and-saucer, if you please [with minimal contents] served with two 'standard' biscuits 'one plain and one fancy' on a tea-plate, all for a compulsory 1 a week whether you wanted a drink or not and regardless of whether you were actually present or not... [There was much consternation once over a Bourbon biscuit - basically two biscuits 'sandwiched' together by a layer of chocolate [non-dairy] cream - with the Grey Men insisting that this bourbon biscuit was the equivalent to 'one plain and one fancy' biscuit combined!!! There was even protocol over office curtains - as a so-called 'fast track graduate', I was - even though it was my first job- still deemed sufficiently 'senior' to be part of the 'grade' entitled to a pair of curtains at my window........those in less-senior grades, even if very long-serving individuals, used to stare out into the uncurtained darkness during long winter nights.... And boy, did you have to be punctual: there was a signing-in book, rigorusly enforced....... One day, I was delayed arriving at work because of a bomb scare [it was a time of IRA bombings] because the police would not let us pass as they had cordonned off the area whilst it was evacuated and the suspicous package [which did turn out to be a bomb] was detonated... I arrived at 11.00am and had to sign the 'Late book', fill in two report cards, report to my boss AND make up the time I had missed, all for something that I had not caused [and of course I could not even ring my boss to alert him to the problems whilst I was detained, because it was all pre- the invention of the mobile [cellphone].

One day, I rushed to Covent Garden where a friend from Oxford had started her first job as a trainee at one of the best advertising agencies in London in order to meet her for a very quick lunch..........and was struck by the breezy informality that constituted her office life - she called her boss by her first name, proceedings were conducted in a breezy conversational 'hubbub', if it was 10.15am and you wanted some coffee, then you had some, either disappearing off to the canteen or nipping round the corner to a small cafe [this was pre-Starbucks etc]. Worse, my friend was wearing trousers [albeit smart ones] and one of her colleagues literally HAD A BEARD!!!! They even had the RADIO on [to stimulate creative thoughts, presumably] Yet despite these 'frivolities', civilised life as we knew it had not ceased to exist....

I was envious, but for all that, espcially now that I look back, the Grey Men, although old-fashioned and stuffy were not actually unfair. You soon learned to 'keep in their good books' basically by avoiding trouble. Yes, it seemed a bit hard, but in fact it was not impossible. The Grey Men only caused you trouble if basically you caused trouble first......it was just a question of taking the rough with the smooth - and there was some smooth: by convention, we finished 'on the dot' at 5.30pm every night unless there was some nasty emergency, which there wasn't usually and on Fridays we finished at 4pm 'in order to get to our country houses for the weekend' [not in my case, but you get the picture]. We also had sprecial leave: always a Tuesday off work after a [Monday] bank holiday, and always a day off to celebrate the Queen's birthday [the actual week day or the nearest week day in April to HM's birthday] ditto a special day off to celebrate the Accession...

Sarah in my very humble opinion should have realised that the Grey Men would have caused her NO problems if she had behaved herself....and there is another vey significant point that people often fail to notice - 'The Buckingham Palace Grey Men' are NOT an Independent entity - there seems to be a common misconception amongst the public at large that the 'Grey Men' and the 'Queen's advisors' are a sort of 'superior boss' that even the Queen has to defer to: wrong, wrong and wrong again: Everything that is done is done on the instructions of the Queen, believe me: If the 'Grey Men' exercise discipline in a certain way, it is because they are carrying out the Queen's direct wishes - and by doing so, they actually avoid the Queen having to become directly involved in any 'unpleasantness' herself......

Certainly Sarah gave the Grey Men a field day by her behaviour, and they even had to 'whip' Sophie Wessex into shape when she began to 'sell' the 'Royal Brand' when she attempted to combine her new PR firm with her royal role: but she gave up her business, soon 'knuckled down' as a working member of the RF and so the Grey Men no longer 'plauged her' [and the Queen ultimately rewarded her with membership of the Royal Family Order in order to show that bygones were 'forgiven and forgotten'] Sarah could just as easily have helped herself; she certainly realised how to behave in the prescence of royalty and what 'was wrong and what was right' at one point...

Just my thoughts and opinions

Alex
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